Jennifer James is a fourth-generation rice, soybean and corn farmer from Newport, Arkansas. She is part owner of H&J Land Company, a diversified operation of row crops, grain warehouse and cleaning facility as well as an automated container loading facility to export specialty soybeans.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business and was recognized as the John W White Outstanding Student in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Life Sciences at commencement. Jennifer and her husband, Greg farm with Jennifer’s father, Marvin Hare.
The family takes great pride in their operation’s commitment to providing overwinter habitat for waterfowl and instituting practices that conserve natural resources. The family land has been recognized as an Arkansas Century Farm, so the group looks to advanced practices and continuous improvement to propel their operation into the next generation of family farms.
In 2017, Jennifer was recognized by Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture as the Farmer of the Year for the conservation efforts on her farm and her leadership in sustainability.
At the 2019 USA Rice Outlook Conference, Jennifer received recognition as Rice Farmer of the Year. Also, in 2019, she was elected as the first woman to the Riceland Foods, Inc Board of Directors – the largest miller and marketer of rice in the US.
She currently serves as Chairman of the USA Rice Sustainability Committee, as the Vice Chairman of the Arkansas Rice Farmers Board. Jennifer is a member of the Merchants & Planters Bank Board of Directors as well as the St Louis Federal Reserve Board Agribusiness Industry Council. She and her husband have a son, Dylan (21), who has returned to the farm as the fifth generation.